Author Archive

Sri Lanka finally implement VAT Changes

As of the 1st of November 2016 the VAT rate in Sri Lanka has risen from 11% to 15%. There has been a lot of confusion over the last few years as to what changes the Government were going to make, as they have announced several proposals previously that have fallen though at the eleventh hour see our previous post here – Will Sri Lanka implement an increased VAT rate?. This is one reason why it is essential to have an adaptable and manageable indirect tax solution.

With this standard VAT increase there have also been several other VAT changes implemented. A range of 81 basic foodstuffs and other products are now Zero-rated. These changes fall inline with the monetary programme set out by the IMF.

Croatia VAT Changes

The Croatian Prime Minister has announced plans to reform the tax system. The main changes are being made to Income Tax, Corporate Tax and VAT with smaller changes in the real estate sales taxes, excise duties, and a number of other tax-related laws. These changes are  being implemented in order to ‘establish a stable, sustainable and predictable tax system’.

With regards to the changes to the VAT system. The standard rate will be reduced from 25% to 24%, but they will also be combining the two current reduced rates of 13% and 5% to a single reduced rate of 12%. These are expected to be implemented on the 1st of January 2018.

Businesses will need to make sure that they are ready for these changes to ensure that they are charging the correct VAT especially if they deal with any reduced rate goods or services.

Egypt Ratifies VAT Law

Egypt Ratifies VAT Law

Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi has approved the VAT law completing the ratification procedures needed to bring in the introduction of VAT.

Egypt have been talking about making this change for a while now so for many it is a surprise that is has finally been ratified. This change to a VAT system from their current Sales Tax system will be a big change for Egypt, the bylaws for the new legislation will be issued within 30 days. The rate will come in at 13% for 2016/17 fiscal year then rise 1% to 14% the following year.

One of the governments aims with this VAT law is to increase VAT compliance and decrease Tax evasion. The VAT scheme will be implemented as a traditional VAT scheme where VAT is gathered at every stage of the production chain rather than just as a one-off at the end of the chain as is implemented now. There will still be a list of exempted goods/services.

Continue Reading

IMF welcomes UAE’s VAT plan

 

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has announced plans to introduce a VAT regime and increase excise taxes, a move that has been welcomed by the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

The UAE Finance Minister has announced that Value Added Tax (VAT) will be introduced at an expected rate of 5% with around 100% items expected to be exempt. The UAE and the other Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) members have been negotiating a proposed pan-GCC VAT for more than a decade and finally settled on a draft plan last year.

Continue Reading

Oman to introduce VAT in 2018

The Omani government has announced its plans to introduce a VAT regime, previously said to be as early as 2017, it’s now believed this will come into affect on the 1st of January 2018, giving businesses more time to acclimatise.

The VAT rate is expected to come in at 5%, which although low by European standards, is expected to generate OMR250 million a year. These extra funds are needed to cover the gap caused by the recent and continued drop in oil prices which are affecting many of the Gulf states. The Omani government have also stated that they will introduce a zero rate for many essential and basic goods and services.

For more information click here (note it goes to our new Innovate Tax site)

Puerto Rico VAT Plans blocked

Puerto Rico’s plans to introduce VAT on the 1st June 2016 appear to have been scrapped.

Earlier this month legislators voted against the introduction of VAT to replace the current Sales and Use Tax, with an almost unanimous vote of 21 to 1.

However, there is still much confusion as to what will happen with Puerto Rico’s indirect tax regime as they are still in dire need of a way in which to raise funds to cover their rising debt, so a VAT regime could still be on the cards?

Canada: Prince Edward Island PST increase

On April 19th 2016, the finance minister for the Canadian province of Prince Edward Island, announced the fiscal 2016-17 budget. Whilst it contained no new taxes or further increases to income tax, it did contain an increase to the Provincial tax part of the Harmonised Sales Tax (HST), taking this from 14% to 15%. This is made up of 10% PST and 5% GST and will be effective as of the 1st of October 2016.

This is the third province this year to announce a rise in PST, see links below to earlier announcements.

New Brunswick increase HST (published April 2016).
New Foundland and Labrador to raise HST rate (published August 2015).

Hungary to cut VAT on Restaurants and Basics

The Hungarian government has announced its plans to cut VAT on restaurants, café services, milk, eggs and poultry by 2017.

According to this recent proposal as from the 1st of January 2017, the VAT on food basics – milk, eggs and poultry will be cut from the current rate of 27% down to 5%. In addition to this the VAT on restaurant and café services will drop from 27% to 18% with plans to cut this further to 5% in 2018. This is a follow on from early cuts which brought the VAT on pork down from 27% to 5%.

Whilst this will bring a shortfall in revenue for the government they believe that it will have no operational deficit as this loss will be covered by higher expenditure and faster growth, with GDP expected to pick up to 3.1% next year from 2.5% expected this year.

There is also the potential that internet will also be cut from 27% to 18%.

Kosovo VAT changes

VAT changes in Kosovo

Kosovo has now implemented an increase in its standard VAT rate taking the rate from 16% to 18%, they also introduced a reduced VAT rate of 8% for a number of raw materials and basic products to offset the effect on the less wealthy. These changes are part of current changes being made to all the tax systems in Kosovo, officials from the Ministry of Finance say that the new measures have been put in place in order to support the economy of the country and the citizens.

Romania VAT cut timeline

Romania confirm VAT cut timeline

There has been lots of changes with regards to how much the VAT cut would be for Romania and when the implementation would take place, suggested cuts have switched between 4% and 5% over the last year with debates seen for both cuts. However within the last few weeks the Romanian Government has announced that in 2016 the VAT rate will drop by 4% to 20% and then in 2017 it will fall a further 1% to 19%. The parties agreed on this after concerns were raised over the viability of such a big VAT cut, and it was felt best to lower it in stages after the IMF was opposed to a one stage 5% cut.

See all previous eBiz Answers posts:

Romanias potential new reduced VAT rate and the success of the foos VAT rate drops.

Romanias confirms 5% VAT rate cut

Romania to cut VAT on food to 9%

UAE in talks to introduce VAT

UAE in talks to introduce VAT

Recently the federal Government of the UAE has announced the planned introduction of a federal value-added tax (VAT). The Ministry of Finance (MoF) confirmed that it has been conducting studies into the implementation of a VAT draft along with the other Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries.

The draft law is still pending and under negotiation due to the absence of a final agreement between GCC countries on the tax rate and a list of tax exemptions, but a draft bill could be on the cards very soon. Once a draft has been created an announcement will be made immediately and the country will be given 18months grace period after the implementation to implement the VAT, if it were to go ahead. The VAT is expected to be implemented at a low rate of around 5%.

Israel to cut VAT

Possible VAT cut in Israel

The Prime Minister of Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu has recently announced plans to reduce the current rate of VAT from 18% to 17% to help promote economic growth, following a higher than expected tax collection in recent months. Speaking earlier this month, Prime Minister Netanyahu is quoted as saying  “An economy burdened by high taxes doesn’t grow, so in order to encourage growth I have decided, with Finance Minister Kahlon, to cut taxes.” Continue Reading

Nigeria confirm VAT rise

Nigeria to raise VAT to 10%

Nigeria have confirmed plans to increase the VAT rate to 10%, making it double the current 5% VAT rate, with changes expected to come into affect later in the year.

This increase is due to the recent slide in oil prices that has seen the price drop 100% in the last 14 months alone, this drop has had a big impact on the Nigerian economy as 80% of the governments income comes from petroleum exports, the current war with Boko Haram is also proving costly to the country. This was recently confirmed after talks with stakeholders took place earlier this year, see our previous post  Nigeria propose VAT increase.

Newfoundland – Canada to raise its HST rate in 2016

Canada’s rising Harmonised Sales Tax

The Canadian province of Newfoundland and Labrador is planning to raise its Harmonised Sales Tax (HST) rate from 13% to 15% on the 1st of January 2016. HST is a combined tax made up of federal Goods & Services Tax (GST) and local Provincial Sales Tax (PST), the GST rate will remain at 5% but the PST will increase from 8% to 10%.

The recoverable amount will also be changing in 2016 and 2017; Municipalities and local service districts will receive a partial rebate on the provincial portion of the HST of:

• 25% effective January 1, 2016
• 57.14% effective January 1, 2017

So this will only be effective on the 10% PST.

Austrian Reduced VAT rate increase

Austrian Reduced VAT rate increase

As part of their 2016 budget Austria have proposed a reduced VAT rate hike raising it from 10% to 13% for the majority of supplies, this is expected to come into force on 1st January 2016, the list of supplies included in this VAT hike are:

Cultural events, including entrance to public museums and galleries

• Livestock and seeds
• Hotels (applies later in 2016)

Whilst staying at 10% will be:

• Supplies of food
• Pharmaceutical products